The effect of climate change on rice production in Enugu State, Nigeria


The effect of climate change on rice production in Enugu State, Nigeria



This study analyzes the effect of climate change on rice production in Adamawa State, Nigeria. The study describes the trend in rice production and determines the factors affecting the output of rice in Adamawa. Secondary data from 1990-2015 was used. The analytical tools used were descriptive analysis, unit root and regression analysis. The result of the study reveals that there is variation in the trend of the climatic factors affecting rice production in Adamawa State. The findings reveal that rainfall and minimum temperature are the major climatic factors that affect the rice production; such that 1% increase in rainfall leads to 22.2% increase in rice production and 1% increase in minimum temperature leads to 3.7% reduction in rice production. Therefore rainfall is found to be positively significant to rice output, while minimum temperature is found to be negatively significant. The study therefore recommends that irrigation facilities should be built, especially in the north where drought threatens food production. Also breeders should develop rice varieties that have less gestation period and can survive high temperature.


Climate change refers to any variation in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, 2001a; 2001b). Climate change in the form of higher temperatures, reduced rainfall and increased rainfall variability, reduces crop yields and net farm revenues, and threatens food security in low income based economies, including African countries (FAO, 2007). At the recently concluded 10th Session of IPCC WG II and 38th Session of IPCC in Yokohama, Japan, the world was warned that climate change impacts are leading to shifts in crop yields, decreasing yields overall and sometimes increasing them in temperate and higher latitudes… In light of these, some indigenous communities are changing seasonal migration and hunting patterns to adapt to changes in temperature (IPCC, 2014).

According to Shah et al (2009) the adverse consequences of climate change will take an irreplaceable toll on food production and food security especially in developing countries which have a low capacity to cope and adapt to these challenges. Evidence from Singh et al (1997) confirmed the effects of climate change on farm net revenue in different parts of the globe through rainfall and temperature variability. These probably underlie the reason why International Food Policy Institute’s 2013 Global Food Policy Report observed that current discussions on the post-2015 agenda are emphasizing the need to expand beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by incorporating climate change alongside urbanization, conflict, and sustainable consumption and production patterns into the development framework. With nearly 6% of Nigeria’s population dependent on agriculture and the sector contributing nearly 40% of the country’s GDP, Nigeria remains vulnerable to climatic variability and long term climate change (Ajetomobi et al, 2010).


Unfortunately, credible reports from Nigerian Metrological Agency, NIMET (2012a) did not offer much hope. The report indicated that Nigerian climate had shown considerable temporal and spatial shifts in its variability and change, making extreme climate and weather event (drought, flood, heat waves, ocean surges, etc.) a more regular event, exemplified by destructive flood of 2012 which occurred in many parts of Nigeria. Eboh et al (2006) observed that, while data limitations made it difficult to estimate cost of possible crop land degradation, the historic crop yield data showed that economic cost of degradation and poor management of renewable natural resources was at least 6.4% of GDP in Nigeria.


They found that the annual cost of yield decline as a result of environmental or land degradation from 1995-2004 in Nigeria was estimated at 1.6 billion dollar. More than 60% of this cost was attributed to roots and tubers. The economic effects of the climate change at the micro enterprise level can be gleaned from effects on farm net revenues which are the focus of this study. In a similar way, IPCC (2014) warned that climate change adaptation could cost $100 billion globally. The emphasis is on smallholder farmers since they dominate the Nigerian agricultural sector, engaging about 65% of the population and contributing between 30-40% of the nations’ GDP (Ajetomobi et al, 2010). Morton (2007) noted that although climate change issues were recently receiving a lot of empirical and documentary attention, especially as they affect rural areas of developing countries, there have been relatively insufficient discussions concerning the impact of climate on agriculture, specifically in the area of smallholder and subsistence systems. Most studies that have addressed the issues (e.g. Enete et al, 2011; Umoh and Eketekpe, 2010) were either too location specific, used qualitative approach or just reviewed related literature only. The study’s focus on staple crops (especially rice, yam, cassava, cowpea and maize) was instructive. IFPRI and Nigerian Strategy Support Programme’s report indicated that despite the fact that cereals, roots and tubers dominated Nigerian crop production at a time when the country was the world’s leading producer of cassava, yams and cowpea, their productivities were still below potential yields while profitability varied across three broad agro-ecological zones. IFPRI (2009) also asserted that Nigeria was characterized by high reliance on food imports amidst growing level of malnutrition across the country, with rural areas being especially vulnerable to chronic food shortages, malnutrition, unbalanced nutrition, erratic food supply, poor quality foods, high food costs and even total lack of food. This situation can be exacerbated by risks of climate change if Nigeria remains aloof. The variation in weather and climate has led to a lot of devastating consequences and effects in various parts of the country (Kebbeh et al, 2003).

These include flooding, deforestation, desertification, erosion, drought, sea level rise, heat stress, pests and diseases, erratic rainfall patterns, and land degradation. More specifically, the South-South geopolitical zone is mainly affected by sea level rise and deforestation induced changes; SouthEast by erosion, flooding and land degradation; North-Central by changes due to devegetation and over-grazing; North-East by drought, desertification and heat stress, and North-West also by drought, desertification and heat stress (Ozor, 2009). The centrality of agriculture to Developing Economies (DEs) is not in dispute (Umoh, 2003). Nigeria, with over 140 million inhabitants, constitutes about a quarter of Africa’s total population. Agriculture is the largest sector of economy, providing about two-third of the nation’s workforce (NBS, 2007a). In spite of this, Nigeria faces acute shortage of food as a result of its low agricultural productivity (Ukwu et al, 2003). This shortage, which varies seasonally or yearly, is reflected in the quantity of food made available for consumption by Nigerians. Rice remains an important component of that quantity; a major arable crop grown in Nigeria where supply is still considered insufficient to match the consumption increase (NBS, 2007a). Agriculture had its effect on climate change just as climate change had on agriculture. According to Sauchyn and Kulshreshtha (2008), agriculture sources such as animal husbandry, manure management and agricultural soils account for about 52% of global nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Climate change is a global crisis – the inter-governmental panel on climate change estimates that there will be increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by the year 2025 and 3°C before the end of next century (IPCC, 2002). Some of the critical challenges that agriculture will face under climate changes are obvious. Many of them are the amplification of the substantial challenges that the current climate already imposes; water availability is at the top of the list.

Water is already scarce in many regions, increasing demand and competition for water will combine with changing and less predictable rainfall and river flows (USAID, 2008). In Africa, where so many people rely directly on the rain for their foods and livelihoods, any changes in rainfall present a major risk. Indeed the IPCC’s fourth assessment report suggest that some African countries may see yields from rain fed agriculture fall by as much as 50% by 2020, if production practices remain unchanged (IPCC 2002).

Aims and Objectives of the Study

The study seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  1. to examine the trend of climate change in the study area from 1990-2015,
  2. to describe the rice production trend in Adamawa,
  3. to analyze the effect of climate change on rice production.